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Women’s basketball takes down Penn

Caption: Senior captain Bella Alarie against Penn.

Credit: Beverly Schaefer/GoPrincetonTigers.com
Caption: Senior captain Bella Alarie against Penn. Credit: Beverly Schaefer/GoPrincetonTigers.com

Having secured 18 wins in a row, a Top 25 National ranking, and its ticket to the Ivy League Tournament, the No. 21 Princeton women’s basketball team is showing nothing less of the desire to win this season.

The Tigers have only lost one game this season, in a heartbreaking overtime battle with the Iowa Hawkeyes. Since then, they have turned to their nationally ranked defense and to senior captain and two-time Ivy League Player of the Year Bella Alarie to lead them on an 18-game winning streak that started on Nov. 24, 2019.

The Tigers faced Penn on Tuesday, a rare non-weekend game for the Ivy League. While winning their 18th game in a row and continuing their undefeated streak in the Ivy League was an exciting night for Princeton, that wasn’t the only news for Princeton women’s basketball. 

The week started with Alarie being named the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) National Player of the Week on Monday. Alarie contributed 21 points, two rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks in the victory over the Quakers.

First-year forward Ellie Mitchel trailed behind Alarie with 13 points, eight rebounds, and six steals. Mitchell’s six steals put her tied for second all-time steals in a single game by a first-year. 

The first quarter was big for the Tigers. Along with carrying a 53.3 shooting percentage, their defense only allowed the Quakers to score eight points.They finished on a 14–2 run to end the first quarter with a 21–8 lead. 

Princeton took advantage of the second quarter, which didn’t look good for the Quakers. The Tigers expanded their lead to 21 points to head into the break with a 34–13 score. 

Penn rallied back in the third quarter, outscoring the Tigers 18–17, but that didn’t stop Princeton from extending its lead to 29 points with five minutes left to play. The quarter ended with the Tigers up 51–31.

The Tigers didn’t let their 20-point lead at the end of the fourth quarter stop them from extending it even more. While Penn came out with the first basket in the fourth quarter, dropping the lead to 18 points, the Tigers did not let the Quakers come within 20 points for the remainder of the game. The Tigers defeated Penn 80–44 to extend their winning streak.

The 18-game winning streak from the Tigers is the third-longest streak in the country. They are training behind No. 1 South Carolina’s 21-game winning streak and No. 2 Baylor’s 19-game winning streak.

The Tigers will face Brown and Yale this weekend.

Last time the Tigers faced the Brown Bears, Princeton secured the victory 85–48. Junior guard Carlie Littlefield had 19 points while Alarie added 16. Both added nine rebounds. 

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The last time the Bulldogs and Tigers met, however, was more of an offensive battle for the Tigers. While they rallied for the victory 55–39, the Bulldogs were registering baskets to keep themselves in the game. Yale’s team also shut down Alarie, only allowing her nine points the entire game. Littlefield contributed a game-high 20 points, while Mitchell had 14 rebounds.

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